Tom Ripley (John Malkovich) has been retired for three years after pulling off an art theft/double-cross with Reeves (Ray Winstone), but Reeves wants Ripley to kill a competitor of his in the Berlin crime world. Ripley refuses, but offers the services of Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott), a neighbor of his who is dying of leukemia. Because he needs the money, Trevanny agrees to kill the man, and does so, shooting him in the Insectarium of a Berlin Zoo.
Later, Reeves contacts Trevanny again, telling him that the dead man's friends are out looking for his killer, and he needs to kill them as well. Ripley, who never liked Reeves and felt that Trevanny had done enough, arrives at the scene of the second assassination (a train), and assists in the murder of two out of three of the men. However, the last man, (though shot and garroted) survives and comes looking for Ripley, Trevanny, and Reeves.
Ripley refuses to help Reeves any further after he shows up at his villa in Italy (effectively leading the bad guys to Ripley's location), and he is killed by the bad guys. Ripley, with the help of Trevanny, is able to kill all of the men who attack his house, and burn their bodies. Unfortunately, there were two men left, who went to Trevanny's house, and are holding his wife (Lena Headey) hostage. Ripley is able to shoot one of the two men, but the second one gets a shot off. Jonathan jumps in front of the bullet, and dies in his wife's arms. Ripley gives his wife the rest of the money that her husband earned as a hit man, and goes to the concert of his lover.